Members of Student for Quality Education announced Friday that they will be participating in a hunger strike and fast until tuition freezes and they roll back executive and administrative salaries.
The hunger strike will involve 12 students from six CSU’s including Northridge, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Sacramento and San Bernardino.
According to Ashley Luke, member of the Students for Quality Education (SQE), the strike will begin Wednesday, May 2 due to “Chancellor Reed and Chair Linscheid’s failure to address or even meet with students to discuss the concerns and possible solutions to the issues regarding the CSU system.
According to Sarah Garcia, the board of trustees held a meeting in March where the SQE presented the Chancellor and Chairman a list of demands that they had also emailed to them
“We asked them to meet with us and discuss these demands, or we would have to escalate our actions.” Garcia said. “We gave them 31 days, which expected April 27th. During the month we received an email from Linscheid basically stating that he believes talking to the student trustees once a year is enough to talk about tuition issues and class issues.”
Sarah further explained that the Chair would not speak with them because “we were threatening in the previous meeting.”
The requests made by SQE that were emailed to the Chancellor and Chair are as follows.
The first is a five year moratorium on student fees; after those five years are up they are not allowed to raise the tuition an exponential amount to make up for the five year moratorium.
The SQE also demands that CSU’s receive about the same funding as in 1999. According to Garcia they “want the administration’s salaries to revert to the 1999 levels, they’ve collectively received a $6 million pay increase, while the tuition has increased 31 percent since 2002.”
The SQE also demands that president and chancellor allowances be eliminated. This includes their housing, cars and entertainment.
The last demand made by the SQE is their request to have all CSU campuses be free speech zones. According to Garcia “some campuses can’t flier and are contained to a square if they want to have events, SQE events, like we do here.”
Garcia asks that there be support for the hunger strike but Garica explained that “as of now I would not encourage other to hunger strike with us. We’ve had to prepare our bodies for weeks in advance so, health wise; it would not be the best idea. However, one can do a solidarity fast with us. Only fasting for a day or two. One can be involved by helping us out, we need a huge support team.”
CSUN participants are Sarah Garcia, deaf studies major with a double minor in anthropology and queer studies, 19-year-old Matthew Delgado, 20-year-old Grace Castaneda, a double major in political science and sociology and 18-year-old Raiza Arias, double major in theater and anthropology.